Relive the glory days at new college themed hotels

Graduate Hotels

 (Graduate Hotels)

When post people think back on college style accommodations, images of futons, drab carpeting and cramped quarters come to mind.

But a new hotel brand is hoping that prospective customers are pining for a chance to relive the glory days at college themed hotels across the country.

Graduate Hotels, backed a team of investors in Chicago and Hong Kong, plans to invest about $500 million in 20 uniquely themed hotels in five years, according to the Wall Street Journal.  UVA fans can stay in a custom Cavaliers themed digs in Charlottesville while the Graduate Athens will be decked out in UGA colors and Bulldog regalia. 

The website cleverly notes that these respective hotels will be open in the “Fall Semester” or “Spring Term.”

“Every site and property celebrates and commemorates the youthful optimism of school days and cultivates the spirit of each community in a bright new way,” boasts the Graduate Hotels website.

According to Ben Weprin, chief executive of AJ Capital Partners, Graduate Hotels will appear to grads or fans coming back to campus hoping to reconnect with the glory days during reunions, sports games or just showing children around their alma mater.

Graduate won't be the first hotel chain to open up shop in college towns. And while the idea seems fun around homecoming time, there are pitfalls to the plan.

"I think potentially it's a great idea, but it's complicated," Bjorn Hanson, a professor at New York University's hospitality school, told the Journal.  Some colleges run their own accommodations and pointed out that universities can be very protective of their brand's marketing to an institution not directly affiliated with the university. Business can also be slow during the summer.

But Graduate isn't just about campus life. According to the website, each hotel will have decor that celebrates the local flavor of the town, including artwork by local artists or eateries that feature local fare.

Prices at Graduate Tempe start at a reasonable $107 a night.